Way to register machines with Flex Guest entitlement

Latest response

It seems that there is no articles in KB advising the process of registering flex guest machine.


Anyone can tell?



Thanks Phil.


But still not able to see how to register a system to use a flex guest.


The article mentions:

How do I register a system to use the Flex Guest entitlement?

See: How do I set up yum to get updates for my RHEL5 system?


However the provided link does not seem to tell.


I just got off the phone with a RH support tech asking basically the same thing as we're investigating flex guest entitlements.


I haven't had a chance to try this, but here's what I was told:


Once you have flex guest entitlements in your account, add the sub-channel Red Hat Network Tools for all the guests to be entitied.  Then run 'yum update'.  When the host talks to RHN it should find that has acccess to new packages.  As part of this - and here's where I don't have details - somehow the box will determine it's a Guest vs being installed directly on bare metal and tell this information to RHN.  RHN will then note this and apply the guest against your flex guest entitlements.


At least this is what I've got in my notes.  If you find this doesn't work or isn't complete, please feel free to share your findings.

1. What technology is being used to run the guest?

2. What version of RHEL (major and minor) is the guest?

Couple months ago, I asked my RH sale rev. and found that he didn't even know/heard about it. It kinds confusing. Is there a URL's that explains each entitlement's benefits and SKU's? Then when we talk with sale rev. we can point him to that place in case he said he didn't know about.



The basic idea is that flex guests were originally created to solve the problem of physical server entitlements being consumed as guest entitlements. The original use case affected was with customers with Red Hat Network Satellite 5.3. This has since been fixed in Satellite 5.4, but there has been some confusion in how guest entitlements are consumed.


What can complicate things more is that when RHEL 6.0 was released, a new subscription model was also rolled out. Customers are now renewing their subscriptions with the new entitltments, which are sold, named, and function differently, and can confuse customers if used to the old process. Customers no longer require the Virtualization Platform entitlement with this new model.


Hopefully this video will help explain the new subscription model:

Red Hat Summit 2011 - Choosing the Right Red Hat Enterprise Linux Subscription:




http://red.ht/vjLFVA -- (PDF Slides of the video)


Feel free to refer your sales contact to me or anyone in Red Hat Support, we'd be happy to fill him/her in! They could be new, and may not have been here long enough to know there are still customers moving to the new subscription model.





Red Hat.

I still haven't found the way to make use of the Flex Guest entitlements that we are supposed to have as a result of being a Red Hat Ready Partner. As far as the suggestion above of enabling a Red Hat Network sub-channel, I did not see any channel with that name.


[Update: There is a Red Hat Network sub-channel for RHEL5, not applicable to EL6. It is mentioned in the knowledge base article on registering virtual guests,


but that article 1) does not apply to Flex Guest entitlements because it describes only what to do with hosts that are registered with Virtualization entitlements which Flex Guest entitlements are not for; and 2) The packages it says to install only exist in the RHEL5 Red Hat Network sub-channel, not RHEL6]


The documentation on Flex Guest entitlements says that it works for guests on unregistered hosts, using KVM or Xen, or using VMware or two other things.


I tried creating a number of virtual machines in VMWare Workstation running on a host running Scientific Linux 6.  I also made one under KVM on the same host. When I installed RHEL 5 and 6 on the guest machines and registered then with rhn, they used my real entitlements, not flex guest ones. After ther real entitlements were consumed, trying to register one more machine produced an error of no entitlements being available.


However, when I looked at my list of virtualized guests over at the rhn web site


it listed all of those guest machines as being consumers of flex guest licenses, including those systems that are listed on


as not having any base entitlement and so can't run yum update, as well as those systems that are listed as consuming a real entitlement that do have a base entitlement.


What steps are required for me to register a virtual machine with rhn using the Flex Guest entitlements that supposed I have as a Ready Partner? I have looked at all the suggestions and links so far on this thread and none of them seem to say how to actually get and use the Flex Guet entitlement, which seems to be the question that started this thread.

Hi Sidney, what entitlements do you have exactly? This may be something that would require filing a support case so we can dig in deeper...





What we have exactly are 1) One paid no-support workstation subscription that shows up on our rhn systems page as an update entitlement plus an update guest entitlement (so that's two update entitlements in all); and 2) One Red Hat Ready Partner subscription that shows up on our rhn page as three management entitlements.


I don't know if you mean for me to include this in our "list of entitlements" but if I go to the Flex Guest Consumers page, every one of my virtual machines shows up in the list of Flex Guest Entitlement Consumers. That includes the VMs that are using real entitlements and the one I can't register because rhn_register reports that I don't have any management entitlements available.


I know that we are not paying for support with either of those subscriptions. I don't know how I should react to your statement "This may be something that would require filing a support case" given that. If it is a bug on your end that our Flex Guest Entitlements don't show up as available can I report the bug in a way that will get it fixed and can I be told of the result?. Even though the Ready Partner Program is free with no included support, shouldn't there be at least a documentation page that you can point to that explains the rudiments of how to install and use that free product?


Aside from whatever you want to glean from my answer to your question "Exact Entitlements?" can you please either explain or point me to documentation about how exactly someone who has only a Red Hat Ready Partner subscription is expected to install RHEL6 systems and register them using the unlimited number of Flex Guest entitlements that we get NFR with our subscription?

The reason I ask is because there are some no-support partner entitlements are only used for access to download software from RHN, and not for registration, management, and updates. I don't think this is the case, but there are many partner subscriptions offered that contain different RHN accesses and permissions to features. Although your subscriptions are "no-support" entitlements, Red Hat Customer Service is still obligated to investigate your account to see which subscriptions you have, which subscription method you are using, and explain what services are provided based on these items.


It probably isn't best to provide such private account information in this forum, hence contacting Customer Support or the Red Hat contact that issued the subscriptions. Red Hat is committed to provide the best partner experience, would like to resolve this issue, and share the resolution with other forum members.





I have contacted Customer Support and pointed them to this thread. If they send me back here I will post more. Thank you.

Sidney, great - please ensure that the case isn't closed until you are satisfied. Feel free to include me in the case.



Thank you Andrius. I don't know how to include you in the case, and I'm assuming that there is nothing private about the case number by itself, so here it is so you can add yourself:



Hi Sidney,


Looking in your account you have a mix of production/paid subscriptions and partner test subscriptions which could account for an issue, but there was an issue uncovered with one of the products when using certificate-based RHN.


Were you using RHN Classic to register/subscribe the VMs, or Red Hat Subscription Manager?



When I first posted about this issue I was only using RHN Classic as I didn't know about certificates. After the last time I posted here I dug more deeply into the documentation and found that Red Hat recommends using certificate-based RHN starting with RHEL5.7 and RHEL6.1. I also was unsure if the documentation about Flex Guests included VMware Workstation as being supported because some places it just says "VMWare" and others it says VMWare ESX and VSpehere. So I experimented adding the following: 1) I tried using certificate-based RHN on some machines instead of RHN Classic; 2) I installed RHEL6 on a real machine and created KVM guests on it running RHEL6. Neither solved the problem.


If you looked at my account while I was in the middle of the experimentation you may have seen the same machine name listed in RHN Classic and certificate-based.


I just this moment received a response from Customer Support that they found an issue which caused me not to get update or management entitlements with Flex Guest and that it should be fixed tonight.


Thank you for your assistance.

Hi Sidney,


Glad this is getting worked out. I had pinged the server-side group responsible for ensuring subscriptions do what they are supposed to, and there was a bug in one of the SKUs you had, which thought it had fewer flex guests (4 instead of unlimited). This should be fixed tonight.


Ensure you are using the correct subscription, because your production self-support subscription only allows for 1 flex guest (which is correct).


Hope this helps!



Danny, this link may be useful for you:


Channel Entitlement type names in Red Hat Network (RHN) have changed. What do the new names mean?


As well as this thread: